Final Space and meaning

Final "Fusion" Design

Original second design of “Fusion” was the most representative of the meaning of the word, mainly due to the coloring and sizes of letters.  The darker shades of each letter as one progressed towards the center of the word portrays a sense of concentration in the middle (aka fusion).  Additionally, the sizes became smaller at the center as well, giving a dense feel, which is also an attribute of fusion (like a black hole).  Suggestions for improvements include separating the spacing between ‘i’ and the surrounding letters so it’s more distinct and visible.  Moreover, shifting letter positions is also suggested to give a more organic feel.

Changes were made to focus ‘i’ at the epicenter of the word (vertically and horizontally) as other letters progressed downwards from it as if they are being sucked in.  This creates a depth and the ability for the dot in the ‘i’ to stand out, distinguishing itself from the closeness of the neighboring letters.

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Voice of Typography

Fonts of Love (Left Column, Right Column) - Zapfino, Giddyup Std, Edwardian Script ITC, Footlight MT Light, Geneva, Marker Felt, Lucida Blackletter, Papyrus, Rockwell Extra Bold, Mesquite Std Medium

With Zapfino the ends of each letter is very exaggerated, yet not too hard to read.  This makes “Love” very appropriate for the title of a book, especially considering the overall height is tall.  Giddyup Std is smaller in size compared to the other fonts and the rope-like design is very playful, giving the word a lighter feel.  Edwardian Script has a lot of contrast, which makes it very sharp and delicate with a sensual projection of the word.  Footlight MT Light uses serifs and angle of stress to create a subtle sharpness and contrast.  The tall x-height makes the word very imposing and solemn (almost appropriate for a poster).  Geneva’s uniformity and lack of serifs present the word neutrally and purely.  I had a sense of the word being very lonely.

Marker Felt presented the word in very thick strokes with tall x-height, which is appropriate for school and lecturing.  Lucidia Blackletter is very organic with real brush strokes, and there’s some definite contrast around the letter, giving an antique feel.  Papyrus is very skinny and small and the cracks in the actual letters makes it feel even more fragile.  The slabs on Rockwell Extra Bold makes the word feel very thick and heavy, almost overwhelming.  The all capital letters on Mesquite Std Medium and the ornaments in the center and end makes “Love” feel very dainty, which is further expressed by the skinniness of each character (appropriate for movie poster/publication).

Tracing letterforms

Letter Outline (Times New Roman, Helvetica, Zapfino)

The three fonts chosen cover the various serif, san serif, and decorative categories.  Times New Roman is probably the mostly used font especially in Microsoft Word and other major text editing tools.  It’s the smallest font out of the three, both in terms of x-height and width.  Both Times New Roman and Helvetica have fairly straight ascenders and descenders.  However, Times New Roman has its counters almost completely surrounded by its serifs, unlike Helvetica and Zapfino.  The italic Zapfino is less bounded than the other two fonts with noticeable overhang near the end of the stroke and exaggeration at the very end.

Tracing typefaces

Garamond and Bodoni are serif fonts while Helvetica and Futura are san serifs.  The san serifs seem to be more legible at the size of the tracing.  All the fonts have about the same x-height and width, making them all relatively imposing.  In addition, the fonts are all relatively modern noted by the straight lines with the serifs perhaps being a tad more organic.  Bodoni especially has a lot of contrast between the thick and thin in each of the letters especially at the terminals, finials, etc while Helvetica and Futura are generally uniform.  The angle of stress for Garamond and Bodoni seems to be leaning towards the left.  Lastly, even though Futura doesn’t have a lot of changes in thickness, the sharp ends of capital letters do give a sense of contrast.

Thinking with Type – Letter

How did computers change typefaces? How were they made before computers? And after?

Computers changed typefaces by including them in Operating Systems, so they can be readily accessed and designed.  Before computers, one needed to draw the letters themselves, and then proofread for suggestions/revisions.  Now they are designed in computers through Photoshop and Illustrator.

What is the anatomy of a typeface? What are all those little bits of letters called?

Anatomy refers to the various parts of a letter as well as their relationships to each other. The bits and pieces are Stem, Bowl, Serif, Descender, Ligature, Finial, Ascender, Terminal, Crossbar, and Spine.

How do designers choose what font to use?

They choose fonts based on the intended purpose of the writing using the font. If the purpose is for titles the font will be rather delicate and have lyrical forms. For regular texts, fonts tend to be with heavier strokes. In addition, an overall affect might influence the choices of fonts.

What is a type family? What are its parts?

A type family is various forms of the same font. This includes roman, italic, small caps, bold, and semi-bold forms.

Remember one font from this reading, or elsewhere, that you like. Find the name. Think about why you like it.